In this week’s edition of our Who’s who in the Zoo series meet Becky Rother, who is visual design lead here at the Zooniverse.
Name: Becky Rother
Location: Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL
Tell us about your role within the team:
I’ve been the Zooniverse designer for a little over a year. In this role, I design custom projects like Scribes of the Cairo Geniza in addition to general Zooniverse.org and public-facing design needs. I also help organize public Zooniverse events here at the Adler Planetarium.
What did you do in your life before the Zooniverse?
I actually have a degree in Journalism, and have worked in various roles from newspaper page designer to mobile app designer.
What does your typical working day involve?
Being on the US team, there’s usually some catch up to be done from our UK colleagues involving reviewing an implemented design or answering questions on our Slack channel. Besides that, every day is different! I may design a giant banner one day, then the next work on wireframes for a new project we’re just getting started.
How would you describe the Zooniverse in one sentence?
Zooniverse is an exceptional group of people working together to positively effect science and the humanities.
Tell us about the first Zooniverse project you were involved with
The first custom project I worked on was the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts, a collaborative transcription project in partnership with the Boston Public Library. It’s a really special project for a number of reasons, and a great introduction to the Zooniverse community.
What are your top three citizen science projects?
I’m obsessed with our camera trap projects – Chicago Wildlife Watch in particular. It’s SO COOL to get to see actual animals in their native habitats. I also really enjoy Gravity Spy – as a non-astronomer, it’s neat to be able to help scientists study gravitational waves. Lastly, I may be biased but I really enjoy Anti-Slavery Manuscripts. Reading these first-hand accounts from people actually involved in the abolitionist movement during the Civil War really brings history to life.
When not at work, where are we most likely to find you?
Chicago has so many great music venues, so I love taking advantage of that and going to indie rock shows. I also love travel and will take any opportunity to explore somewhere new.